Think about your daily life. How many times during the day do you feel uncomfortable? How often do you find yourself holding back because others are judging you? How often do you feel pressured based on others' expectations? How do you treat yourself when you make mistakes?
Self-esteem therapy can help you…
Speak to yourself with kindness instead of criticism
Feel good about yourself without relying on external validation
Attend to your needs effectively rather than being focused on others’ needs
Dream big and take risks instead of playing it safe
Give yourself compassion after a setback rather than beating yourself up
Be your most authentic self without holding back or feeling pressure to fit a certain mold
Self-esteem is an internal judgment of your worthiness which can, in turn, affect everything in your life. Working with an unbiased professional is the first step, as they can help you become aware of your patterns, coping mechanisms, and automatic negative thoughts that get in the way of living your best life. Once you are aware of what’s going on, you can learn to speak to yourself with more kindness, reframe negative thoughts to be more reflective of reality, and create more equity in your relationships by attending to your needs and articulating your boundaries.
Here at the Center for Growth, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ocean City, New Jersey, Mechanicsville, Virginia, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, our approach to self-esteem therapy is designed to help you explore your self-esteem challenges in a compassionate and non-judgmental environment where you feel seen, heard, and validated, while learning coping tools and strategies to approach life with more objectivity and authenticity.
Left untreated, self-esteem issues can lead to a variety of negative consequences, including:
Difficulty setting and achieving personal goals
Difficulty taking care of yourself and prioritizing your needs
Difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships
Poor stress management and emotional regulation
Poor body image
Poor academic or work performance
Increased risk of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety
Increased risk of codependency
Increased risk of substance abuse
Self-Esteem Therapy for Children and Adolescents:
Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to developing low self-esteem. They are still developing their sense of self, which is impacted by their experiences in their family, in school, and in their peer groups. For children, low self-esteem may manifest as shyness, poor social skills, or difficulty making friends. For adolescents, it may manifest as poor academic performance, difficulty fitting in with peers, or self-harm. Here at the Center for Growth, self-esteem therapy is designed as an early intervention to encourage children to share their experiences without judgment, learn to regulate their emotions, practice risk taking, and recognize their inherent self-worth.
Self-Esteem Therapy for Family-Based Trauma:
Family dysfunction and generational trauma can have a significant impact on self-esteem. Family dysfunction can include things like physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional abuse, addiction, infidelity, and neglect. When growing up in a family with dysfunction, individuals may learn negative patterns of behavior, poor communication skills, and maladaptive coping mechanisms, like codependency. These children may feel they are not worthy of love and acceptance. Children who come from highly critical families are also more likely to engage in negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves.
Generational trauma refers to the transmission of trauma, such as abuse, neglect, discrimination, or shame, from one generation to the next. It can also refer to the impact of historical events such as war, colonization, displacement, or genocide. Those who grow up in a family where trauma is a part of the family's history may internalize negative messages about themselves and their worthiness. For example, if you come from a culture that places a high value on achievement and are only recognized by your family for your accomplishments, that can lead to holding yourself to impossibly high standards and the feeling that you are a failure when those standards are not met. The Center for Growth has self-esteem therapists that are trained to help you recognize unhelpful patterns of behavior and negative thinking, as well as their origins.
Self-Esteem Therapy for Adults:
Adults with self-esteem issues are likely to have experienced some kind of trauma, whether it be from their family of origin, childhood bullying, an abusive relationship, discrimination, harassment, chronic illness, loss of a loved one, betrayal, infidelity, assault, combat, natural disaster, or other events that were outside of their control. Experiencing trauma firsthand or even knowing someone who experienced trauma can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-doubt.
For adults, self-esteem challenges may manifest as difficulty with assertiveness, lack of confidence in one's abilities, difficulty trusting yourself and others, or difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships.
Those who identify as a BIPOC or multicultural may be at higher risk for developing self-esteem issues due to a variety of factors, such as experiencing discrimination or racism, internalizing negative stereotypes, or having a lack of representation and positive role models within their communities. Studies have shown that African American youth may be at a higher risk of developing low self-esteem due to the stress of living in a racist society, exposure to negative stereotypes, and lack of representation in the media and other institutions. Similarly, studies have shown that Asian American youth may be at a higher risk of developing low self-esteem due to the pressure to conform to traditional cultural expectations and lack of representation in the media and other institutions.
Those in the LGBTQIA community are also vulnerable to discrimination, prejudice and social stigma, which can make it harder to accept themselves and their identity. Individuals within the community may face societal expectations that can contribute to self-esteem challenges, such as the pressure to conform to traditional gender and sexual roles.
Self-esteem therapists at the Center for Growth model self-compassion to help you give yourself as much grace and kindness as you give others.
Self-Esteem Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery:
Adults who find themselves in a relationship with a narcissist are particularly vulnerable to low self-esteem. Narcissists are known for their extreme self-absorption, lack of empathy, and tendency to exploit others for their own gain. Narcissists may constantly criticize and belittle their partners, making them feel inadequate and worthless. They may manipulate and control their partners to get what they want, making them feel like they are not in control of their own lives. Narcissists are also more prone to gaslighting, causing their partners to question their own reality and memories. Those in a relationship with a narcissist might also incorrectly feel responsible for the narcissist’s issues, whether it be their inability to meet their needs or change them, which can impact their self-esteem. The Center for Growth has a Life After the Narcissist Support Group to support you in your recovery and help you realize you are not alone.
Self-Esteem Therapy for Body Image:
Low self-esteem can have a significant impact on body image, leading to negative thoughts and feelings about one's own appearance. Individuals with self-esteem issues may view themselves as unattractive, inadequate, or flawed, and may be more likely to develop body dissatisfaction. This can lead to a variety of negative consequences, such as body dysmorphia, distorted thinking, disordered eating, social isolation and excessive exercise. In the age of social media, the ability to constantly compare yourself to others can also lead to feelings of isolation and inadequacy, challenges with identity, and distorted thinking. Self-esteem therapists at the Center for Growth are trained to help you think less critically and more holistically when looking at yourself. Treatment will also focus on shifting your thinking away from unrealistic societal standards to focus on your own values and how you define a life that is meaningful.
Self-Esteem Therapy for Relationships:
People with low self-esteem may struggle to form and maintain healthy relationships and may be more likely to be dissatisfied in their relationships. The lack of trust they have in their own worthiness of love and acceptance impacts all their relationships. Some ways that low self-esteem can affect a person's relationships include: difficulty setting and enforcing boundaries, difficulty identifying and expressing their needs and wants, difficulty saying “no”, difficulty making decisions, difficulty trusting themselves and trusting others, difficulty accepting both compliments and constructive feedback, difficulty communicating differences in opinion due to fear of conflict, difficulty making new friendships, difficulty pursuing people romantically, difficulty leaving toxic relationships, and social isolation as they may doubt their worthiness or assume that others will let them down. At the Center for Growth, self-esteem therapists give you the tools to practice self care on a regular basis, articulate your boundaries, and show up authentically without feeling the compulsion to people please.
Self-Esteem Therapy for Career and Education:
Self-esteem issues can affect an individual's performance at work or school. Individuals with low self-esteem may lack confidence in their abilities and may be less likely to take on new challenges, leading to stagnation in their career or education. Some ways that low self-esteem can affect a person's career include an overall lack of confidence which can limit their risk taking and professional growth, difficulty setting and achieving goals, difficulty networking and building professional relationships, difficulty accepting and implementing feedback, difficulty with public speaking, difficulty with decision making, and difficulty managing others. Self-esteem therapists at the Center for Growth can help you identify negative thinking patterns that may interfere with your success and can work with you to create a roadmap to grow professionally.
Self-Esteem Therapy for Sexual Health:
Individuals with low self-esteem may struggle to feel confident and comfortable in sexual situations and may be more likely to experience dissatisfaction in their sexual experiences. Some ways that low self-esteem can affect a person's sex life include: difficulty expressing sexual needs and desires, difficulty initiating and maintaining sexual relationships, difficulty with sexual performance due to anxiety and self-consciousness, difficulty with intimacy, and difficulty with body image and physical self-esteem, leading to negative thoughts and discomfort during sexual experiences. The Center for Growth self-esteem therapists teach mindfulness practices that allow you to be more sexually present with yourself and your partner.
What Does Healing Look Like?
Fortunately, low self-esteem is not a permanent condition. The brain is capable of rewiring itself through a process called neuroplasticity. With time and effort, new neural pathways can be formed and new experiences, behaviors, and thoughts can be used to build self-esteem. Individual therapy, group therapy, and other self-help techniques can help to improve self-esteem and overall well-being.
Having self-esteem issues can greatly impact one's daily life and relationships, and our goal is to help individuals improve their self-worth and confidence.
At the Center for Growth, therapists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ocean City, New Jersey, Mechanicsville, Virginia, and Santa Fe, New Mexico all use the same self esteem principles in each model utilized so that sessions are conducted in a safe, non-judgmental and confidential environment. We understand the importance of having those with self-esteem issues feel seen, heard, and validated. During therapy, individuals will have the opportunity to explore and process past experiences that may have contributed to their self-esteem challenges. They will also learn practical tools and strategies for managing self-doubt and building self-confidence in the present. Our therapists are trained in various evidence-based techniques, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic theory, and mindful self-compassion therapy. These therapies focus on identifying and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself, and developing a more compassionate and accepting inner voice.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that can be used to rewire the brain to build self-esteem. CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative patterns of thought and behavior. It is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected and that negative thoughts can lead to negative feelings and behaviors. By recognizing and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself and replacing them with more positive and realistic ones, individuals can learn to have a more positive self-image and improve self-esteem.
Mindful self-compassion therapy can also be used to rewire the brain and build self-esteem. It emphasizes the practice of self-compassion in everyday life and in difficult situations, as well as the development of a more balanced and stable sense of self-worth. By treating oneself with kindness and understanding rather than harsh self-criticism, individuals can learn to have a more positive self-image and improve self-esteem. This practice also encourages individuals to view themselves in their entirety, rather than focusing on their failures, imperfections, or perceived shortcomings.
Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, breathwork and grounding, can also help individuals become more present in the moment and to observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help to reduce negative thoughts and increase self-compassion.
Group therapy can also be an effective treatment option for self-esteem issues as it provides a supportive environment where individuals can share their thoughts and feelings with others who have similar experiences. A group setting provides a safe space for individuals to practice new skills and behaviors, take risks, and receive feedback and support from others. It also allows individuals to learn from others by seeing how they have successfully worked through their self-esteem issues.
The Center for Growth offers unique treatment to assist those suffering with self-esteem issues. To build your self-esteem, you need someone who understands what makes it unique and challenging.